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Igad criticises South Sudan for delaying peace process

Kampala- The Inter-governmental Authority on Development (Igad) has decried president Salva Kiir’s government continued ‘hard to catch’ game ahead of the “High-Level Revitalisation Forum” that is expected to find a solution to the political crisis in South Sudan.

The Igad council of ministers meeting in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on Sunday also affirmed that the regional body is “ready to take all necessary actions against individuals and groups that spoil and derail the revitalisation process from moving forward”.

“In this regard, the Council calls upon South Sudan’s Transitional Government of National Unity and all parties to focus on the higher goal of the national interest, and securing the future of the country,” the ministers stated in a joint communiqué.

Igad, a seven-member regional bloc comprising Ethiopia, Uganda, Somalia, Djibouti, Sudan, South Sudan, and Kenya, has been overseeing the South Sudan peace process since fighting first broke out in December 2013.

The Foreign Affairs ministry Permanent Secretary, Mr Patrick Mugoya, represented minister Sam Kutesa at the meeting.

However, the designation of South Sudan’s minister for Cabinet Affairs, Martin Elia Lomuro, to represent President Kiir’s government in the talks was treated by officials as Juba’s flippant attitude towards the matter.

The UN Security Council last Thursday gave a nod to revitalisation of the talks whose preparations commenced yesterday.

The council of ministers reports to the Igad Heads of State Assembly.
The council has over the past weeks been reviewing of key points raised during previous consultative meetings whose outcomes is expected to pave way for “revitalisation forum” whose preparations commenced yesterday (Monday).

Sources in Addis Ababa told this newspaper that preparations for the revitalisation forum include talking points for the main warring factions, Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) in government (IG) led by President Salva Kiir, SPLM-IO (in opposition) led by former Vice President Dr Riek Machar, and the SPLM-FD (former political detainees) led by Ms Rebecca Garanga.

Last Friday, the three factions signed a pact for reunification at State House Entebbe under the guidance of President Museveni.

In the meantime the ministers called upon all parties to “cease any form of hostile propaganda, through a declaration and signing of a cessation of hostilities to create the necessary conditions for addressing the dire political, humanitarian and economic conditions” in the country.

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